Tucked away in the Mancos Valley a mile east of Mancos along U.S. Highway 160, sits Brown’s Country Store. The store, run by Roy Brown and his wife, Nina, has been serving the Mancos community for three years.
“It’s a family-owned business,” owner Roy Brown said. “My wife and I are the only workers. It’s a tough way to live, but we enjoy it.”
Though it’s a difficult lifestyle, Brown enjoys the independence and the interaction with the animals. He also enjoys the people he gets to meet during the summer. The store serves as an entrance to the town of Mancos to travelers from Durango.
“Our little store in Mancos is the most amazing place ever,” he said. “I have doctors, lawyers, farmers, dental assistants come in. I have ex-football players, famous artists, famous authors come into that store.”
“And I’m sure that the same thing happens at Walmart or whatever, but we actually have the chance to meet them.”
Every Saturday, Brown drives over to Durango for the farmers market, where he sells lamb, pork, chicken, cucumbers and tomatoes. Nina bakes pies and other fresh-baked goods for the market as well.
The customers who the couple has met at the farmers market have regularly traversed to Mancos to come into the store, he said.
This summer has been particularly tough on the store because of the drought and the 416 Fire.
“The tourism is down to almost nothing,” he said. “And we already don’t see that much in Mancos. It’s really hurt us.”
Still, the couple marches on.
“It’s really, really fun, this whole situation,” Brown said. “I really like what I’m doing.”